Why Meeting Rhythms Are A Critical Strategic Discipline

Why should we do daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual meetings?

Most people abhor meetings and it’s not often an easy sell to let them know that Scaling Up / Rockefeller Habits specifically prescribe a series of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual meetings.  The latter two most people can tolerate.  Sure we need to plan ahead, but the others they see as painful, particularly when they are already having too many boring meetings.

In today’s economy information is providing the competitive advantage.  You may have heard of Big Data.  The trick is to utilize that data in ways to powerfully drive the business.  In addition the need for qualitative data that supports or helps interpret that quantity contributes greatly to the value big data provides.

It’s vital to remember why meeting rhythms work by using one of the unique capabilities the brain provides.

Pattern Recognition

If you’ve read Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcom Gladwell, quick decisions are based on data and pattern recognition.  In order to take advantage of this unique capability we must gather and process data so that we can recognize those patterns.  If you’re only gathering data once a year you may not see a pattern.  Gathering data and metrics on a daily, or weekly basis allows you to begin to see what patterns are emerging.  It’s that kind of vital data that helps companies like Net Flicks, Wal-Mart and many others make predictions that pay off.

Another reason for consistent predictable meeting rhythms: As we change we grow, we need to balance change with stability.

If you’re a Gazelle, your business is changing and adapting quickly.  You may experience as much growth in a month or a quarter as other business struggle with in one or two years.

(As described by the Financial Times: A gazelle is an extremely fast-growing company, which maintains consistent expansion of both employment and turnover over a prolonged period. There is no single definition of what constitutes an “exceptional” growth rate, but 20% and more per annum is a common definition.)

Radical Change / Radical Stability

To drive Radical Change you must have Radical Stability.  When I first started with Gazelles we discussed Goldman Sachs doing two daily huddles a day to drive their business.  We didn’t necessarily suggest your business do two huddles a day, but in the fast changing world of the stock market two huddles may make sense, one to start the day and one just before the day ends. A vast amount of things occur even after the market closes.  In The Daily Double – Two Daily Huddles Better Than One? we shared a customer story that exhibited the value of his instituting two day huddles.

Gazelles’ growth customers know: Routine sets you free! Good habits build healthy growing organizations.  Positioning Systems’ Strategic Discipline is a requirement for building a great company.

Let’s take a look at a quick formula for a successful weekly meeting:

  • Focus on the company
  • Focus on you
  • Focus on the customer

In 2008 when Apple Computers was voted the most admired company in America, Steve Jobs in an interview with Fortune Magazine shared that every week on Monday he reviewed all key projects and made necessary changes in an Apple leadership meeting.  He noted some of these required tough changes, but he still made them.

Do you take the time every week to consider the important projects that your company is working on?  Where’s everyone’s energy going to?  Do you have a One Thing focus each quarter or trimester?

Here are some additional key points on weekly meetings:

1. Every week, each individual team member needs to Red, Yellow, Green (or Super Green), and Success Criteria their priorities

2. If they do that, you can update your “Energy Map” (Company & Individual Dashboard) weekly so you can see how the company is doing.

3. First step – start the meeting focused on the company.

4. If you see four out of five your company or an individual’s dashboard for your #1 priority are red, take action right away to avoid being blindsided later.

5. Each meeting should have an agenda item focused on what some call an “Energy Map.”  It’s a collection of dashboards that monitor how the company and how each team member is doing against the priorities you agreed to commit to achieve for the quarter.

There are several other key points to running a successful weekly meeting including Focus on You, Staying Balanced, Focus on the Customer, and Employee Feedback.

My good friend, Doug Wick – Gazelles Coach in Cedar Rapids Iowa is the author of this insightful article.

Ted Bonel – Strategy & Execution Advisors

Need assistance to help your team achieve your objectives to grow your business? Contact me at tedb@strategyandexecution.com.au to schedule a free 30-minute discovery meeting.

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